Special from the Adams Rescue Mission
By Lex McMillan
When she was just 18, she graduated high school, got married, and had her first child. That first marriage only lasted about two years, but in her second marriage five more children arrived over the years. Although she was a stay-at-home Mom till her youngest was six, she has worked ever since in a variety of jobs from warehouses to food service. She’s now in her mid-50s, and in January 2019 found herself homeless after a live-in babysitting job ended without warning. Although she speaks of the experience without emotion, it was clearly a painful shock as it involved a family member.
With help from others, she found her way to Gettysburg CARES (http://gettysburgcares.org), where she received shelter and support until April of last year when CARES closes for the season. She spoke gratefully of CARES and the unusual experience of sleeping in six different local churches over the winter months. When the CARES program ended, she was referred to the Agape House of Adams Rescue Mission.
When she arrived at Agape House, her self-confidence and self-esteem were at a low point. She had been very ill and hospitalized for five days over the previous Christmas season with what was diagnosed as flu and pneumonia. She had applied for disability benefits but was still waiting and anxious about what the future would bring. At Agape House, she said “I almost fell over when I saw how nice it was.” She quickly realized that Agape House offers much more than food and shelter. For the first time in many years, she felt loved and began to understand that God was working in her life. She now believes that He will give her the strength to meet whatever challenges lie ahead. “We’ll get there together,” she says.
She commented more than once on how small, simple acts of caring define her experience at Agape House. She recalled how her bicycle—her only means of transportation–had been stolen and then replaced by “Santa” last Christmas. Everyone wants to help her find her way. Smiles everywhere make her want to pass that spirit of care on to others. She is gaining self-confidence as she learns to put God first in her life, to trust in Him.
Soon after arriving at Agape House, she was delighted to land a job at Kennie’s and thus become “an essential worker” in the COVID-19 crisis. She’s enjoying her work, remains hopeful, is making new friends, and feels deeply grateful that all her needs–physical, emotional, and spiritual–are being met. As our visit ended, she offered a prayer for all those who are sick and that the crisis will soon pass.
The Adams Rescue Mission exists to proclaim the passion of Jesus toward the hungry, homeless, abused, and addicted; to accelerate recovery and restoration to the least, last, lonely, and lost. Lex McMillan is an ARM board member.
To support the Mission: http://www.adamsrescuemission.org/donate-now.